March 13-14 agenda: ITB Berlin opens to the public

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The Independent Online

This weekend's highlights offer several sports-related events in the Gulf region such as the launch of the Formula One season in Bahrain and the Abu Dhabi triathlon. Australian and international-minded fashionistas will head to Melbourne for its annual fashion show, while ITB Berlin's travel fair opens to the public, among other events.

Endurance: Abu Dhabi Triathlon
March 13
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

With a total prize fund of $250,000 (€184,000), this triathlon under the Emirati sun certainly has its fair share of gold up for grabs. Its constituent elements differ from standard lengths, with a shorter swim and longer cycle, meaning that athletes can anticipate a quicker post-race recovery.

ITB Berlin

March 13-14: open to general public
Berlin, Germany

The largest travel fair in the world welcomed 179,000 visitors last year, from 187 countries. Summits on social media and travel, "Aviation Day" and "Hospitality Day" are likely to provide an insight on news and trends in the industry. Turkey is this year's official partner country. The event is open to the general public March 13-14.

Motor sports: Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix

March 14
Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain

The 2010 Formula One season opens in Bahrain for the second time in the track's six-year history and sees the return of one of the sport's biggest stars: Michael Schumacher will be lining up on the starting grid for the first time in four years, taking Button's vacated seat now that the Brit has joined countryman Lewis Hamilton at McLaren Mercedes. The GP starts at 3 PM local time (12:00 GMT). For those looking to attend in person rather than watch on TV, grandstand tickets range from 45-155 dinars (€88-305) for race day, and not much more for a three-day pass.

Melbourne Fashion Festival
March 14-21
Melbourne, Australia

Despite - or maybe due to? - its local nature (brands include Hussy, Daniela Orlando), the event is highly popular because of its public appeal: tickets for all shows can be purchased via